‘Joy through baking:’ New Alabaster bakery finds success – Shelby County Reporter

‘Joy Through Baking’: Pop-up Alabaster bakery finds success

Posted 9:58 am Monday, November 21, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS | Special for the reporter

ALABASTER – When Leslie Hartsfield quit her full-time job to care for her mother, she discovered her love for baking; now, with her culinary creations, Hartsfield is turning her kitchen into her own business.

It almost started out tragically, as Hartsfield’s mother was in a terrifying motorcycle accident. This turn of events led Hartsfield to resign from his job as a credit bureau manager, where he had been working 50 to 60 hour weeks.

“My mom was in a motorcycle accident and almost died, so I quit my job to take care of her,” she said. “During that time, I started baking and found that she had a gift for it and I really enjoyed it.”

Hartsfield started making a lot of baked goods, and her mother took some to serve at a company party. She received positive feedback and even requests from people present who were interested in purchasing items from her.

In a way, quitting her job turned out to be a “blessing in disguise,” Hartsfield surmised, because it not only allowed her to do something she loves, but also to spend more time with family. In fact, it was memories of making birthday cakes for her children that partly inspired some of her new creations.

“My kids always loved helping me make their birthday cakes, so I started getting more crafty, trying things out, seeing what worked, looking online and making it my own,” she said.

Soon enough, Hartsfield began giving things away and making birthday cakes for family and extended family members, making her the “designated baker” for family events. In July 2018, she made it official and LuLu’s Bakes was born.

Popular items include cookies, their “Best Chocolate Cake” made with dark beer, espresso, and Dutch processed cocoa; and her gourmet cheesecakes, such as apple pie or pecan pie, which she describes as “a cheesecake that’s just elevated, it’s got something going on.”

Now LuLu’s Bakes has its own Facebook page, and Hartsfield has earned its food safety certification and follows Alabama cabin laws. She also delivers; among the most difficult items she has had to deliver are a three-tier wedding cake for Vulcan and a 3-foot-tall Eiffel Tower cake at a venue in Trussville.

“I have a pretty good customer base now,” he said, hinting at the possibility of opening a store in the future. “It always feels good to do something for someone and just see their reaction and put a smile on someone’s face, to bring joy to someone through baking.”

Hartsfield thanked her husband, Stephen, for his support throughout her journey and joked that the only drawback to a home bakery is all the dishes you have to prepare.

For more information, visit LuLu’s Bakes on Facebook or email [email protected]

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